The Pulse

Gov. Cooper will allow two bills similar to those he previously vetoed to become law without his signature

By: - March 17, 2023 5:41 pm

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday he is allowing bills on hotel tenants and rioting penalties to become law without his signature. 

Senate bill 53 says that people who live in inns, motels, campgrounds, or other lodgings do not have legal rights afforded tenants if they live in those places for fewer than 90 consecutive days. 

Cooper vetoed a similar bill in 2021.The bill this year passed along party lines in the Senate and easily passed the House with bipartisan support.

Cooper said in his statement, Cooper acknowledged the bill has broad legislative support.  “However safe housing is sometimes only available from temporary shelter such as hotels, and I remain concerned that this bill will legalize unfair treatment for those who need protection, and this will prevent me from signing it.”

House bill 40, a bill increasing penalties for rioting, will also become law without Cooper’s signature. House Speaker Tim Moore championed the bill, and has said it was inspired by protests against George Floyd’s murder. Civil rights groups warned that the law would be used to target people of color and make people hesitant to protest injustices. 

Cooper vetoed a version in 2021.

The bill on rioting penalties passed this year with one Democratic vote in the Senate and six Democratic votes in the House – enough to override a veto if all legislators show up for an override vote. 

Republicans have revived several bills Cooper vetoed in past years. With bigger GOP majorities in the House and Senate, those bills have a better chance of becoming law. 

In his statement on the rioting penalties, Cooper said, I acknowledge that changes were made to modify this legislation’s effect after my veto of a similar bill last year. Property damage and violence are already illegal and my continuing concerns about the erosion of the First Amendment and the disparate impacts on communities of color will prevent me from signing this legislation.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Lynn Bonner
Lynn Bonner

Investigative Reporter Lynn Bonner covers the state legislature and politics, as well as elections, the state budget, public and mental health, safety net programs and issues of racial equality.